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The Folktale Project

Aug 29, 2018

Jacob Hurd, stern witch-harrier of Ipswich, can abide nothing out of the ordinary course of things, whether it be flight on a broomstick or the wrong adding of figures; so his son gives him trouble, for he is an imaginative boy, who walks alone, talking to the birds, making rhymes, picking flowers, and dreaming. That he will never be a farmer, mechanic, or tradesman is as good as certain, and one day when the child runs in with a story of a golden horse, with tail and mane of silver, on which he has ridden over land and sea, climbing mountains and swimming rivers, he turns pale with fright lest the boy be bewitched; then, as the awfulness of the invention becomes manifest, he cries, “Thou knowest thou art lying,” and strikes the little fellow.